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Who ate all the pies

Dip in to scour the latest Deadline Day titbits...

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Austria didn’t qualify for the 2002 World Cup, which meant Ronald Gercaliu wouldn’t have got his chance to show off his mohican when everyone else was doing it (overlooking the fact that he was still at school in 2002!). So while Becks and co. have moved on, young Ronald wasn’t going to let his time in a major international tournament pass without showing off his own daft hairdo. He has also dyed his longer strip of hair strawberry blond for good measure.

He’s a goalkeeper, Jim, but not as we know it

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1. What a well worked goal from the centre-back Pepe. He was a more impressive attacking threat than Nuno Gomes.
2. Portugal thoroughly deserved their win having hit the woodwork three times. It could have been four or five goals.
3. David Pleat is obsessed with threesomes. In the first half, he said: “It’s a threesome in midfield.” In the second half: “Turkey converted to a threesome up front.”

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1. What a damp squib to get the tournament underway. I felt as disinterested as the Swiss crowd until the Czechs broke the deadlock.
2. Poor old Alexander Frei. He cried his little eyes out (shades of Gazza). The Swiss skipper must know his tournament is over.
3. You would have expected the Swiss supporters to have been a bit more vocal and a bit more excited about the prospect of opening a major international tournament on homesoil. Then again the players were not much better.

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Ahoy there, ye land lubbers. The Czech Republic’s buccaneering defender is a bit of a lookalike for Johnny Depp’s Pirates of the Caribbean character.

Can the World Cup holders follow up with a Euro win? ITALY (Group C) Group mates Netherlands (9 June, Bern), Romania (13 June, Zurich), France (17 June, Zurich) Three most valuable players 1) Luca Toni On fire for Bayern this season, and expected to lead the line for Italy at Euro 2008. 2) Gianluigi Buffon […]

Pies’ headline of the day! Leo Beenhakker, the Dutch coach of Poland’s national team, apologised yesterday after a Polish tabloid newspaper, Super Express, published a mocked-up image of him holding the severed heads of Michael Ballack and German coach Joachim Low, along with a headline demanding the slaughter of Germany at Euro 2008: “Leo, give […]

Another Euro-themed quiz to get your brains around 1. Career path Trelleborg, Juventus, Djurgarden, Rennes, Man City (current) 2. Multiple choice What are Euro 2008′s two mascots called? a) Zagi & Zigi, b) Flitz & Bitz, c) Trix & Flix, d) Flitz & Flix 3. Picture round Name this Euro 2008 player… 4. Team-mates How […]

We profile the young players set to shine in Austria & Switzerland 1. Mario Gomez (Striker, Germany) Just 22, although he looks older, Gomez has been tipped by many as a dark horse to win the Golden Shoe at Euro ’08. He’s tall, quick, powerful and has good feet, plus he knows where the goal […]

Great goal, son. You’ve earnt that pie Before he became a pie-munching elk-killer Sweden’s Tomas Brolin used to score goals like this free-flowing combination of one-twos. This was the winning goal in Sweden’s 2-1 victory over England in the group stages of Euro 1992. Some would say scoring a goal against an England side managed […]

More useless goods from the House of Platini

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Without Zidane, can they escape the Group of Death? FRANCE (Group C) Group mates Romania (9 June, Zurich), Netherlands (13 June, Bern), Italy (17 June, Zurich) Three most valuable players 1) Franck Ribery A revelation for Bayern this season, and will be expected to take over from Zinedine Zidane as France’s creator-in-chief. Potentially the star […]

If you’re planning to play a Euro 2008 fantasy football game, here’s our tips for a winning XI… We allowed ourselves just two players from each nation, and in a 4-4-2 formation: GOALKEEPER Igor Akinfeev (Russia) Under Guus Hiddink, the Russian are very well-organised, and don’t tend to ship many goals. Plus, they’re in a […]

Following on from yesterday’s Top 15 Ugliest Players, today Pies brings you the Top 15 Sexiest Players, as chosen by a select panel of female fans (and my gay friend Nick). 15. Alessandro del Piero (Italy)

When peace and harmony deserts European Championship squads

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Spanish midfielder rescues win with lovely solo goal Spain beat USA 1-0 in Santander last night, thanks to this super goal by Barcelona star Xavi. The result saw Spain stretch its unbeaten run to 16 games.

German fans get their own anthem If you watch this video enough times, the chorus will get stuck in your brain, and not in a good way. I’m sure there’s a sly dig at the English not qualifying in there too, but my German is too rusty to figure out what it is exactly. Hit […]

The lowdown on the hard-to-pronounce Poles POLAND (Group B) Group mates Germany (8 June, Klagenfurt), Austria (12 June, Vienna), Croatia (16 June, Klagenfurt) Three most valuable players 1) Artur Borac Poland’s No.1 keeper is one of the most underrated in Europe; his back-ups, Tomasz Kuszczak and Lukasz Fabianski, are very good too. 2) Ebi Smolarek […]

This entertaining video shows Bayern Munich team-mates Franck Ribery and Luca Toni getting a bit patriotic in the run-up to their two countries meeting at Euro 2008. The duo try all sorts of tricks and contravene various Allianz Arena health and safety regulations in their game of one-upmanship.

They may be good at football, but look at the state of them… 15. Jakub Wawrzyniak (Poland)

With no England to back, which team will you cheer in Austria & Switzerland? Which team will you support at Euro 2008 ( polls)

Another four minutes of Euro trash Apparently, this is the “Official Song” of Euro 2008. Which means there are two official songs for the tournament: this, and Shaggy’s Like a Superstar, which we posted up yesterday. No idea why. Hit or Miss? It’s catchy in a euphoric, Euro-dance way, but it’s no World In Motion. […]

Meet the tournament favourites GERMANY (Group B) Group mates Poland (8 June, Klagenfurt), Croatia (12 June, Klagenfurt), Austria (16 June, Vienna) Three most valuable players 1) Michael Ballack An undeniable world-class act, and in fine form for his club in the last couple of months. Having missed the 2006 World Cup final in his homeland, […]

The greatest gear that Austria and Switzerland has to offer

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1. Holland away
Holland’s powder blue change strip continues the retro theme that Nike have maintained for the last three years or so. The KNVB is looking good as is the band around the chest.

A couple of vids from Jose’s first press conference in the Inter hot seat “I don’t want to be the Special One any longer…” More below…

Surely this spectacular volley from the Republic of Ireland’s Ronnie Whelan signalled the end of the Soviet Union. Or maybe not given that the USSR managed to draw this group game and force their way into the final. Yorkshire’s Mick McCarthy launches a long-throw in and ginger Dubliner Whelan does the rest. A Jack Charlton-era Republic of Ireland goal scored by someone born in Ireland. Priceless.